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Brand your farm as a community assetBrand your farm as a community asset

Millennials value opportunities to serve the community, being active in community brands your farm as positive place to work.

Lori Culler

December 14, 2016

3 Min Read

How does your farm’s community outreach assist recruitment and retention? Employer branding, like product branding, is about perception. Employer branding is about the employee experience at your organization and how potential candidates perceive your organization. Regardless of size or number of employees, from a small farm to a large corporation, all organizations have an employment brand that shouldn’t be ignored. 

Reputation means a great deal to candidates. When AgCareers.com asked job seekers specifically about company brand/image, nearly 80% indicated that the company brand/image was important or very important in selecting which jobs to apply for.   

Having a strong employer brand increases employee loyalty and aids recruitment. To evaluate employer brand, consider how potential candidates perceive these different touch points. From the greeting on your voicemail to the organization’s involvement in the community, all of these possible points of contact portray an image about the company’s brand. Google the business and yourself! Listen to what existing staff says about working for you.

Many mistake employer branding with expense. There are tactics involving some expense, but employer branding does not have to be costly. Community relations can boost recruitment. Encourage employees to participate in local volunteer efforts, even during work time. Millennials and the newer Gen Z that will soon be entering the workforce, are focused on the future. They want to feed the world, save the planet, and they also consider giving back to be a vital part of their job. In fact, college students responding to the AgCareers.com Internship Benchmark Surveys often cite community volunteer opportunities as one of their favorite parts of an internship.

Your farm operation could donate to charity events, sponsor fundraising efforts, adopt a highway, or hold a food drive, just to name a few. The organization is giving back to the community where you are located, but also providing positive word-of-mouth exposure for your brand. If your potential pool of applicants is local, they will continually be exposed to your employment brand at community events. Don’t be shy about ‘tooting your own horn’ a bit by sending out a press release, or telling the local newspaper/station about your community involvement. You could take a photo of your employees collecting donations and post it to an online news source or community paper. For out-of-town candidates, they can find out about your involvement through online news stories, exposure when they visit your community, and when you highlight community involvement during the recruitment process.

More than half of agricultural employers responding to the 2016-2017 AgCareers.com Agribusiness HR Review have implemented, or plan to implement, an employer branding strategy soon.  To learn more about incorporating community relations into your branding strategy, contact [email protected].

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

About the Author(s)

Lori Culler


Lori Culler owns and manages AgProVise, a management consulting firm dedicated to providing leadership and direction to farms and agribusinesses focusing on business development, human capital strategies, organizational development and talent management. She also founded AgHires, a job board for the ag industry where employers can post open positions and candidates can apply to jobs. AgHires offers hybrid sourcing recruitment solutions to help clients find candidates. Lori’s family has a third-generation, 7,500 acre potato and grain farm with locations in Michigan and Indiana. Reach her at [email protected].

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